Maryland football is making improvements in head coach D.J. Durkin’s first year, and a win over Michigan State is proof of the progress.
After two straight losses, the Maryland Terrapins were looking to right the ship against a team having their own struggles, Michigan State. With bowl eligibility in question, Maryland needed a strong second half to pull out win number five on the season. And a strong showing is what the announced crowd of 41,235 got.
The Terrapins started Perry Hills at quarter back for the first time since their lost to Penn State, and he showed quickly that he could run this offense unlike Maryland fans had seen since he went out.
Maryland opened the game with two strong defensive stops, then added a powerful offensive drive. Hills led the Terrapins on a nine play, 96-yard drive for the game’s first score. Caleb Rowe came in and ran an option with Kenneth Goins Jr. to give Maryland an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. This was Maryland’s first lead since they played Purdue three weeks prior.
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Both teams would exchange touchdowns for the rest of the half, including a 90 yard Maryland drive ending with a 36 yard D.J. Moore touchdown catch, but Adam Greene knuckleballed the point after wide left. The score would be 14-14 headed into the half.
Maryland actually played stifling defense against the Spartans, especially in the air. The Terrapins only allowed seven completions in the first half, but did have some rushing holes to close up.
Michigan State had the only score of the third quarter, on a 36-yard field goal, but the Terrapins owned quarter number four.
Maryland had the ball to begin the quarter, and finished off their drive with a Goins touchdown run from just a couple yards out. Kicking off to Michigan State with just under 14 minutes remaining, the Terrapins needed a stop, and they got it.
D.J. Durkin and company held strong around midfield, and sniffed out a fake punt, forcing Michigan State to give the ball back with 8:32 left in the game.
Perry Hills was able to keep the team moving up the field, while at the taking time away from Michigan State. The five minute and nine second drive was Maryland’s longest of the game, ending with Levern Jacobs catching a nine-yard pass from Hills to pad the score up to 28-17.
Maryland’s defense secured the victory by getting to the Spartan’s quarterback, Brian Lewerke, on third and fourth down with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
Hills and company ran the clock out, giving Maryland the 28-17 win. Win number 5 was much needed for the Terrapins as they face Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska in their next four matchups.
Maryland will host Ohio State on November 12th at Maryland Stadium.